Build Front of Hopper to Make Cleaning Easier
BY John Ball
We can’t spritz release agent on everything. While the push rollers can get a wipe-down with a rag full of release agent before paving begins, other parts of the paver could transfer the agent’s breakdown properties to your mix if you over-apply or get carried away with the spray wand.
Instead, perform routine maintenance to ensure material doesn’t glob onto sensitive components or into hinges and areas that need to move. When it comes to cleanup, it’s true that the preventative is the cure. This means the more you can prevent mix from falling over hopper sides, the less you’ll have to clean off paver components at the end of the shift.
Notice in the pictures on this page that the rubbers on the front of the hopper have been torn and broken, which lets material bleed forward during the paving shift. It’s a good idea to build up the front of the hopper, build up the rubbers with conveyor belting or some such material to keep mix from spilling out.
Also watch the back end of haul trucks for items such as trailer hitches that catch and tear the rubbers. If a haul truck driver has a trailer hitch on the back of his rig, he needs to remove that hitch before his next round. If he can’t get it removed, maybe he needs a new gig where his equipment isn’t costing you money in damages, wasted perishable material and extra cleanup time.
In the meantime, use best cleanup practices at the end of the shift as the fellows in these pictures demonstrate. Scrape off the sides and front of the machine with putty knives and rags soaked in release agent. Also consider the option for a front lifting hopper like this Cat paver features. By lifting the front of the hopper up 3 feet, the workers can clean underneath it more easily. All these good practices make a cleaner machine, and that makes a top quality job easier to achieve.
John Ball is the proprietor of Top Quality Paving, Manchester, N.H. For more information, contact him at (603) 493-1458 or email@example.com. Visit his site at www.tqpaving.com.